The Island of Borneo is one of the most beautiful and naturally diverse islands in the world, and these features have helped to make it one of the most desirable places to visit. The island itself is divided between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, although it is the Malaysian third of the island that has been most extensively developed and is most popular with visitors. The cities of Kota Kinabalu and Kuching are the most populous cities on the island, but for the majority of visitors it is the natural aspects of Borneo that prove to be the most attractive.
Get Up Close And Personal With The Orangutan of Borneo
The Orangutans are among the most famous of the great apes, and their population in Borneo is one of the largest in the world. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting the TanjungPuttingNational Park, which lies in the Indonesian portion of the island. The Bornean Orangutan is considered to be an endangered species, and the opportunity to get close to some of our closest genetic relatives is one that is rarely available outside Borneo.
The animals themselves generally spend their time in the trees, and there are a number of sanctuaries alongside the national parks where guides can help you to get a look at these intelligent primates. For those fortunate enough to see them swinging through the trees, it is a truly exceptional sight to behold.
See The Giant Rafflesia Flowers
The huge flowers of the Rafflesia are genuinely impressive when they are seen, but because they spend so long developing and then only flower for a few days, it can be particularly difficult to catch a glimpse of this remarkable flower. The blooms themselves are considered to be the largest in the world, and as well as being brightly colored they also have an odd odor which tends to smell slightly like rotting flesh.
The best way to do so is with one of the local guides who will know where to find the buds that are closest to flowering. The Rafflesia Information Centre in the Malaysian part of the island is an ideal base to walk to the flowering sites, although it is worth making sure you get there early in the day.
Visit A Crocodile Park
There are a number of different species of crocodile to be found in Borneo, and there are a number of crocodile parks that allow visitors to get a good look at one of the largest animals in the country. These are also often used as places to breed crocodiles, and although those in the wild are often cautious and are rarely seen by people, these crocodile farms do allow people to see the animals, and will often have a number of other natural attractions too.
Travel On The North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway is one of the most impressive feats of engineering in the world, running through some of the thickest jungle valleys on the island. The railway was originally built by the British imperialists to help exploit the island’s natural resources and to get them to the sea, but the railway now serves a much more benign purpose.
The steam trains that originally ran on the railway now pull the passenger cars taking visitors through the plantations of rubber and coffee that made the island so attractive, and also passing through villages and the thick jungle. This is a great way to get a look at the parts of the island that would otherwise be inaccessible, and is a particularly magical experience for anyone with an interest in trains.
Shopping In Kota Kinabalu
After a relaxing holiday exploring the natural wonders on the island of Borneo, there is nothing better than spending a day shopping in Kota Kinabalu before you go. There are a selection of large shopping malls to attract visitors, but it is the markets in the city which really make shopping here a wonderful experience, giving people a great chance to meet local people and to pick up a few keepsakes from Borneo, as well as letting them see more of the traditional commerce on the island.